Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Moms Who've Done Lost Their Minds

Everyone once in a while, we all lose our schmidt. We yell or stomp around or slam a door and then ten minutes later feel totally ashamed.  Thank goodness, we now know that we're not alone in this.  Perhaps sometimes we just get overwhelmed with the demands of kids and house and husbands and jobs and other stuff and something sets us over the edge and we snap a little. 

But let's put things in perspective.  Having a mommy-tantrum (momtrum) and hollering "I AM DONE! Mommy is taking a time-out!" And then locking yourself in your room with a glass of wine for 20 minutes while kids play Wii is comparatively small potatoes. Because in the past three days, we've heard of three moms who have made some questionable choices when they lost their tempers...

We all understand that you're not supposed to block the lane at the Kiss n Ride.
Last week during morning drop off at an elementary school in Greenville, NC - one mom allegedly pulled a gun on another.  Here's what was reported earlier this week.  Mom #1 pulls up in the drop off lane effectively blocking anyone else from letting their kids out.  Nothing happens for a few minutes.  People in the line start to get antsy.  Then first-mom-in-line slowly gets out of her car and lets her kid out.  A collective sigh of frustration is heard from the now long line of irritated early morning drivers.  Then first-in-line-mom pulls her car up about five feet. And just stops, blocking the lane.  So no one can go anywhere.  The woman in the car behind her finally snaps, taps her horn and starts complaining.  They yell at each other.  First-mom-in-line responds to being yelled at by walking back to her car and pulling out a gun. 

Let's start by saying that those of us who use the Kiss'n'Ride can totally understand how its possible to lose your damn mind on a bad day. I am reminded of an incident with Kate from last year whereby she renamed it the "Kiss My Ass and Ride".  I mean, Kate is from Texas.  Kate likes guns and knows how to use them. [Editor's Note: Conversely, I'm from NJ and think they're loud and scary. Lydia]  But even Kate knows not to pull a gun on someone at an elementary school in front of a bunch of little kids. I mean come on.  She takes that aggression and channels it appropriately.  Into seething, ranting blog posts.  Oh hold on a minute...

I teach high school and I totally hate teenagers. Including yours. Wait. What are you mad about?
A high school teacher named Natalie Monroe in Bucks County, PA was just busted for writing a blog where she occasionally ranted about her students. She seems pretty cool to us.  She's a public school teacher.  Plus she's really pregnant. Plus, a lot of teenagers really are truly horrifying.  And we think it goes without saying that if anyone on earth could understand how some bloggy ranting could bring down your blood pressure and improve your mental health, it's us.  So we were all - why did they suspend her from her job?

Here are some snippets of things she wrote about her students, taken from an article on

Among the 39 barbs she listed:

  • "I hear the trash company is hiring."
  • "I called out sick a couple of days just to avoid your son."
  • "Rude, beligerent [sic], argumentative f**k."
  • "Just as bad as his sibling. Don't you know how to raise kids?"
  • "Asked too many questions and took too long to ask them. The bell means it's time to leave!"
  • "Nowhere near as good as her sibling. Are you sure they're related?"
  • "Shy isn't cute in 11th grade; it's annoying. Must learn to advocate for himself instead of having Mommy do it."
  • "Too smart for her own good and refuses to play the school 'game' such that she'll never live up to her true potential here."
  • "Am concerned that your kid is going to come in one day and open fire on the school. (Wish I was kidding.)"

Munroe concluded: "These comments, I think, would serve me well when filling out the cards. Only, I don't think parents want to hear these truths. Thus, the old addage [sic] ... if you don't have anything nice to say ... say 'cooperative in class.' "

OH SNAP.  So here's why even though we're sorta sympathetic to Natalie Monroe, we totally feel like she needs a check up from the neck up.  Because we're pretty sure she's validated every kid's fear that their teachers hate their jobs, hate their students and wish they'd just shut up and go away. And since she says stuff like that about her students, we'd rather she didn't teach our rotten kids because even though they can be monsters we'd freak the freak out if we ever heard a grown up talk about them like that.  Oh, and she doesn't think she's done anything wrong:

A cleavage fight? Oh even yesser
So a mom goes into a high school in Bradenton, Florida and apparently is offended that another mother is wearing a shirt that may be flashing the girls a little too much. Innocent enough, right? I mean, we've all been to places where we see another mom wearing something that maybe should be left to college students [Ahem. Kate....]  and maybe we even catch the eye of another mom and we share a silent Maude face together.

Nope. Laura Camponello decided to pick a fight, and tell the first mom to cover up.Then a cop showed up, because we're pretty sure there's a rule about not arguing about boobies in high school, and Campanello asked the deputy to impose a dress code on the other mom. The deputy said there was nothing he could do about it, because he couldn't "tell her what to wear as long as she is not exposing herself."

That's when Campanello allegedly pulled down her blouse and stated, "Oh, then I can." As if that wasn't enough, she then squeezed her breasts together, saying, "And then I can just do this."

Oh, and her husband was there when it happened. And the registrar, and an office assistant, and two other parents. She's now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and that she, 'intends to sue the school, sheriff, and jail for their mistreatment of her.' 

Ummm, whuck? Let me get this straight. This mom went into a high school where her 17-year old son is currently matriculating and attempting to not be awkward nor embarrassed by basically everything in life - particularly his parents - and then picks a fight with another mom over exposing too much skin, which necessitates the police showing up, and then proves the validity of her argument by flashing her boobs?
And now she's suing them for PTSD? We imagine this is the exact lawsuit your son and soon-to-be ex-husband will be filing against you. Please let us put a Vegas-style bet on who we think is going to win. Lydia has her eyes on a new pair of yoga pants...

So if you've been feeling lately like you're about to lose your mind, we hope these cautionary tales have helped just a little.  Unless you've been running around waving around a gun with your jugs out while blogging nasty things about other people's kids - at least you're ahead of these three.

xo,  K&L

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011


  1. Fab post. May I request that you have a quick look at the font size of the quote in the center? On my computer here it's nearly microscopic.
    My 40-year-old eyes appreciate anything you can do here to help.

    And WHAT was that woman trying to do with her hooters out? That poor son of hers.
    ==kate in michigan

  2. Aw, I love posts like this that make my "allowing my children to eat cookies for dinner in extenuating circumstances" seem like reasonable parenting.

  3. Wow.
    I guess I'm holding my schmidt together quite well according to this article. I don't think I've ever exposed myself, waved around a firearm, and I don't have a blog so I guess I'm 0 for 3. go me!?
    Thanks for a jaw dropping read!

  4. Both my hubs and I went to CB East High School (the high school where Natalie Monroe worked). It really is that horrible. The kids really are that bad. You could even say she was sugar coating it. When my hubs and I decided to move back to the area, I specifically told my real estate agent that I wouldn't live in Bucks County and I would never (even under persecution from maude) would ever send my kids to that school. And if you can imagine it, the parents are worse. She should get a medal from the president for battle wounds.

  5. The teacher story hit home for me. Having taught public for 6 years, I know how frustrating it can be. But, it's so interesting that the teacher didn't answer the question about how she'd feel if a teacher said those things about her child. That is the biggest point to consider. No matter how insanely frustrating the job is, those are someone's children! Think and feel however you want-although I do think her posts were signs she needed a new profession-but posting them? Publishing them? On a blog she claimed was "anonymous"? Um, using your real first name, real last initial, and having a picture of yourself on the blog does not equal anonymous. Not only were her comments atrocious, but I'm afraid she is the one who is "frightfully dim" if she considered her blog anonymous. Blech.

  6. If teacher wanted to keep diary about her rotten students, that's fine. That's what the space between the mattress and the box spring is for.

    And there's a reason why I don't have a gun, and it's not because I'm scared of it.

  7. All I can say is thank Maude my son rides the bus. I have driven by the school 15 minutes before the bell and the line of cars is insane (on a sunny day!). My luck, we'd still be 20 cars from the front when Little Bother announces that he needs to poop. That's just two things that you can't mix, potty training and kiss-n-ride!

    As for the blogging teacher, I teach a mommy & me type class in a rather affluent suburb, and I could share some seriously whack stuff I see and hear...BUT I DON'T (except with my closest friends). That chick needs to keep the bitching to the teacher's lounge where it belongs.

  8. HAVE TO DEFEND THE TEACHER!!!! Live in the county she teaches in ... know the families she teaches for!!!! Self indulged, spolied drive nicer cars than the teachers, they "deserve" their grades & the doctor/lawyer parents will fight the school board for their children ... MOST of Bucks COunty is patting her on the back!!!!

  9. Suddenly I feel a whole lot more "OK". =)

  10. hey--you guys didn't even mention the mom who snapped so hard she shot her two teens for being "mouthy."

  11. Who carries a gun in their car with their kids? And the Mommy boob one made me snort. Never be surprised by the insanity of people. There is always one worse than the next!

  12. Considering I had a freak out just last night, this post couldn't have come at a better time. I just raise my voice though. It's scary to think of some of the crazies out there, though. Pulling out a gun at an elementary school is completely psycho. Wow.

  13. Is it bad that I don't want to admit I live in Bradenton? Is it even worse that Bayshore High (Where this happened) is supposed to be the best high school here? Man...

  14. Absolutely love the "kiss my ass and ride sign". Parents who can not do the drop off properly work me to no end. Why can't they just park and walk their kids in?????

  15. I'm on the fence about the teacher. Mainly because I get through life by being a flippant wiseass. Heaven knows I should NEVER teach children but if I did, I know I'd say all those things and more because it's how I reduce stress. So I don't think what she said was really the problem (even though I know it could be hurtful AND that I wouldn't want it said about my kids). It's WHERE/HOW she said it. But in my experience, many teachers can't even handle simple grammar -- it's not a big shocker that they wouldn't be able to handle online anonymity.

  16. Great timing on this post. Made me feel better about my meltdown last night....

    I cooked a lovely homemade dinner for my kids, instead of the usual chicken nuggets or pasta with sauce from a jar. And all I got was whining, crying, and protesting for 20 minutes straight. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and I just left the room. I told the kids not to come and get me until they were done with their food. I spent my "time out" ranting on FB and felt much better!

  17. WOW!!!
    First off, the lady with the gun:"Then first-in-line-mom pulls her car up about five feet. And just stops, blocking the lane." I sense some pre-meditation. She had to know it was going to piss off a lot of people when she did that.

    Secondly, the teacher: I actually support her, because I am a big fan of telling it like it is, and my husband teaches high school, so I know how teens are. What they and their parents need is a BIG OLE DOSE of reality. Of course no one wants to hear anything bad about their children. Hell, I know my son is a devilish little turd sometimes, but even I don't want to hear it from someone else. BUT there comes a time when someone has to speak up. I don't want piss ants like that growing up with their skewed view of the real world and running the country one day. What sucks is that everyone who's in position to do anything about student behavior has to keep their mouths shut for fear of being sued, and parents aren't about to believe their little "angels" are ever at fault, thus the vicious cycle continues to spiral down the crapper.

    Finally, the lady in Florida: down-right-off-her-rocker.

  18. As a teacher of high school students I wish I had known about blog world. lol... The only difference is that I would have actually been anonymous. Teenagers can be satan's special gift to the human species, but they are still human and I couldn't let myself be instrumental in crushing their already fragile self esteems in such a public way. The only thing this teacher did wrong is take credit.

  19. This was so a blog I needed after a day like yesterday! Thank you for bringing a smile to my did I need it. :)

  20. Ok my turn. On my way to school/work I have to navigate a gauntlet of cars that block my way cause the &%*@$ parents are waiting with their precious snowflakes for the schoolbus to take then 1 BLOCK to the school! If they can wait for 10_20 minutes why don't they just drive them and not be in my way every blessed morning? Yes they'll have to cross a major road but for the Love of God they're already in a car.

  21. Loved this post. I work in the school system (not a teacher) and I am inclined to agree with Kimberly's comment. It's not necessarily what the teacher said (though I've worked with all ages and have never even thought such things). It's that she didn't keep it anonymous for the platform she used. It's unprofessional at the least. Unfortunately, she chose a profession where image is kind of important. You need to be trustworthy and credible to get anywhere with teens. And they're kids, maybe horrible kids, but still kids. Is that mom from the Kiss n Ride line holding a gun to her head and making her stay there? She's only been there since 06, imagine what any more years of wear and tear would do to the poor woman. Teaching is not for everyone, not even everyone that chooses it. Just my opinion.

    Oh yeah, I also had a momtrum last night. When my husband asked me what was wrong I told him to google PMDD.

  22. There is a difference between constructive criticism and downright hurtful insults. I wouldn't talk about adults that way, let alone kids. It would be different if her comments were harsh and helpful, but she forgot the helpful parts. I think as someone who works in the school system the hardest part for me about the teacher was that none of what she did seemed to be done out of genuine caring for the well-being of those students. I think as parents we have the idea that teachers are always looking out for our kids' well-being (unrealistic maybe) and she tainted that image. Calling somebody rat-like has nothing to do with making them a better person.

  23. Ok first and third mom... wow. I feel so bad for there kids who are now being subjected to this kind of media attention because there parents are crazy. PTSD from getting told there is nothing you can do about another woman not covering up? I went to Target last night and saw some ladies thong hanging out and he having a bra like thing for a shirt. I want in on that law suit too if she wins ( note the sarcasm) I think she needs to see what PTSD really is.

    Now the teacher. I dont think shes completely crazy. She did not use names, and did not say it to the faces of these children. She blogged her frustration and anger instead. She took it out in a constructive way rather then letting lose on these kids. I think she shouldnt be punished for this. How would I feel if it where said about my child? Humiliated that I had raised such a brat of a kid or that I needed to get help with them. Parents these days just dont want to hear the truth on how disrespectful there kids are. The teachers get treated like crap and are told to just deal with it. If I as a parent ever heard of my child acting like that Id be the one going crazy. Children now a days ( a lot of them not all) are treated like they can do nothing wrong and shouldnt be punished at all. We are military and have lived in three different places the last year. Each place you have kids who are spray painting new buildings, destroying property, beating up other kids, etc... and when they get caught they are given a slap on the wrist and told not to do it again. Its kids everywhere. Ridiculous!

  24. start reading from the post on the 12th ALOT more makes sense about the teacher.. The media does make a story a million times worse when they only take bits and pieces...

  25. As a former middle school math teacher myself, I have to side with the teacher. Fully 97% of my students were wonderful to work with, but, oh, that 3%. And heaven help you if they are all in the same class. I don't think she said something mean about all of her students, but we all know how one bad apple can RUIN a batch.

    One day in my first year of teaching, with a particularly bad class, I refused to take them back to the room after lunch (30 min of class left) because they had demonstrated their willingness to gang up against me. The next 2 weeks a principal had to walk back with me to regain/maintain any semblance of control. That was a tough year of teaching - let me stress, in that one class - and by the end I was glad to see every one of them leave. That is one good thing about teaching, even the worst kid goes away eventually. I've thought everything I've read that she said, but I didn't post it in a blog.

  26. I too am on the fence about the teacher. My husband is a high school teacher and the stories drive me bonkers. I think she should say what she wants, particularly in the spirit of "tongue and cheek" but anyone who thinks that ANYTHING online is anonymous is seriously mistaken. It would be too bad if she lost her job, and incredibly awkward if she when back to her school, but maybe, just maybe for about a week the students would pretend to respect her.

  27. The teacher flipped her schmidt for sure. You know, the teachers are tired of these bad ass kids, I can't say that I blame her.... I wouldn't want that approach taken and feel that there could have been another way around that bitterness. And for the record, I'm sure those kids didn't want her as a teacher anymore than she wanted to be their teacher. She is what's wrong with the school system.

  28. I am a person who respects the profession of teaching, and I am the proud mom of an educator. I have a fair idea of the frustration that educators must feel as their patience is tested daily and their best effort is often unappreciated. That being said, there is no excuse for Natalie M. to blog non-anonymously about what one can assume is an example of her feelings about some students. How frightfully dim this woman is for never thinking her non-anonymous blog might be read by anyone remotely connected to her career. At the very least, she doesn't sound like she is well suited for the rigors of this profession. It is not for the faint of heart-and that is why an educator is so highly respected in my book. Move on Natalie to a career where you are less likely to come in contact with youth, lest they give you more reasons to rant, "anonymously".

  29. janelle,
    Natalie didn't just post about kids misbehaving, she sounded like a spoiled brat herself. "asked too many questions, took too long to ask?" "not as good as sibling?" "trash compnay hiring?" These are comments that are simply rude and caustic...hmmm, probably the same attributes she is accusing the kids of having. What educator thinks teaching HIGH SCHOOL is going to be a cake walk? Talk about frightfully dim. Bless the educators that have the brains to work through their frustrations in a less damaging manner.

  30. Thanks for the post - at least I only needed to put my kids down for "nap" after a particularly bad time... waiting at the blindingly sunny bus stop for half an hour with groceries, a crying baby who couldn't be nursed because the bus was about to arrive *any* minute and a pre-schooler who had to pee and couldn't be taken back inside the grocery store because if we missed the bus we would have to wait another whole hour.... So I guess I was on the verge of exposing myself to calm said baby by nursing right in the stroller, but at very least mommy needs some chocolate!!

  31. Some kiss n' ride lines have rules that make some sense, but then the volunteers enforcing the rules don't apply common sense... and that can cause delays, too. I got reprimanded both times I dropped a friend's kids off at school while also transporting my baby in a rear-facing car seat, which would only fit in the middle of the backseat of my car. Now, neither of my friend's kids were legally old enough to ride in the front seat, so one had to sit on each side of the carseat in the back. Day one of drop off, I got in trouble for not having them both go out the sidewalk side door [is one supposed to climb over the baby??] and was told to get out and hold hands with the one getting out the street-side door. Good idea, except Day Two I got in trouble for getting out of the car! No guns in sight, thank goodness... Don't know what I would have done if all 3 were mine and I had to do that everyday.

  32. Kiss n' ride: ever try to get a six year old out of a full size van that did NOT want to get out to go to school? I mean, you have to try for at least a few minutes before you pull into the parking lot, right? (By the way, take your keys if you get out of the van to climb into the back to catch him).

    Teacher: I now homeschool my two 13 year olds. I'm their teacher. Am I allowed to write stuff like that about them in my blog? Oh yeah, I have no need to do that, thank goodness!

    Boobies: Poor son. I'd run away from home.

  33. I work in Greenville, NC- some parts are pretty ghetto fabulous so this story is really not surprising at all. What's possibly MORE surprising is that someone in the line of cars didn't whip out a gun as well! Had there been a picture posted with the story she definitely would have been unloading said children from her hoopty. If you're looking for a laugh, look up "hoopty" in at Totally fits this story!


    Great letter to Natalie Monroe from a principal--pretty much sums up what I think of her.




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